Hawai‘i Public Health Institute on Maui is making huge strides in preventing youth from vaping through the incredible power of education. Katie Folio, Maui’s Community Coordinator, has been hard at work organizing and leading youth vaping education training classes for adults and giving presentations to youth. Folio says that the training for adults has exceeded her expectations. She originally started the year training Maui’s DOE health teachers and has branched off to making connections with some of Maui’s big schools, like Maui High and King K.

The reception has been so positive that even the MPD Juvenile Division began to attend, as well as the other MPD officers. One of them has already taken the presentation back to his “Ike Pono” students at Lahainaluna High School, a program that was created and run by MPD officers with hopes to impact at-risk high school students.

Training attendees learn how kids are being targeted by tobacco companies and other electronic smoking device (ESD) manufacturers and how oblivious young people are to the risks associated with vaping. Folio says that the adults who attend are “very engaged and interested in what they are learning.”.

In addition to the adult training classes, the classroom youth presentations are also creating impact on Maui. Folio shares that she has collected about 350 youth surveys since this past spring from Maui students, largely from health classes. From the survey, we learned that 34 percent of kids currently vape, with about half of them saying the presentation changed their mind about vaping. One student noted, “I’m going to throw it away as soon as I get home.”

We like that idea.

For more information, contact Katie Folio here.